A bowl of porridge doesn’t come easy

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Hawkers are everywhere in Penang, and their stalls are an irreplaceable part of its street life. In fact, there wouldn’t be much of a street life if they were not as numerous as they are; in markets, coffee shops, hawker centres and along roads. Let’s meet one of them.

Ooi Phaik Choo has not always been a hawker. She was formerly a seamstress but now sells pork innard porridge with her husband, Woo Yew Weng, a former electrician with Tenaga Nasional Berhad. Having moved past retirement age, they both resorted to alternative means to make ends meet as they have a daughter who is still financially dependent on them.

Getting into the hawker business provides its own share of challenges. “Starting off is not like taking a stroll in the park, especially if you have no prior experience,” Ooi said. There are many factors to consider, such as providing variety and tastiness, setting the right price and finding the right location.


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